students groups, veterans groups and unions. so when we do have information, we do know that the government is doing what it has repeatedly done, which is to target dissident and minority citizens using these powers that are designed to go after international terrorism. >> another question. right here. in the middle. >> how do we understand the powers of the executive and
congress and exercise with in the united states? to we understand them as carrying out more-related functions within the united states? if so, what implications does that have on the powers that the executives can exercise, particularly with respect to american citizens? >> john. >> well, burstein would say i don't want so be misunderstood to say that if we still sues award approach to terrorism, that excludes civilian law enforcement. so when people have been captured in the united states almost all except one are two exceptions have been tried by criminal-justice system in light. and so i think only one are two cases to the executive branch to detain anyone as a military detainee, and that think those were on ultimately transferred to a criminal prosecution anyway. so i think even though i do think that -- i didn't really think of the war powers as adding on to the tools already
available to the civilian criminal justice system, but it should not be limited just to the civilian criminal justice system. in terms of other things like use of force, i guess, as well you're really asking about, look back to september 11th itself. september 11th in the days afterwards we have fighter jets circling washington d.c. i assume they had orders that there were civilian airliner that was going to be directed. they imagine had orders to shoot them down. was reading stories in the post of the first set of fighter jets so when up to an even have bullets and missiles and there were plans to grass the fighter jets into the civilian airliners to stop the from hitting the capital. that is use of force by the military. that is not the rules of use of force that would normally be used by civilian criminal law enforcement. so i think we have excepted that if the enemy tries to make a battlefield of the united states that we should not have our one
hand tied behind our back. we might need to use the military, but at the same time i think it has been extremely restrained as a matter of practice. if you look around the people who are primarily carrying out the domestic fight on terrorism >> again, i would agree with what john is said. i don't dispute the example that he gave of fighter jets and the immediate aftermath of the tax, but the devil is in the details, and we have been looking on a point of one issue by issue basis. by the way, i should refrain from generalizing about the patriot act because it has a hundred and 60 different provisions of which the aclu has criticized about a dozen. some have actually endorsed. with respect to the criminal-justice paradigm, let me give you an example the we have opposed and come back to my familiar theme of it is as
productive as it is. that is the use of a military commission or, in fact, actually, nine years of the military commissions despite all the above by members of congress and others about the proposal to try this self-proclaimed master- of the 9/11 attacks and federal criminal court. in fact, the federal criminal courts have succeeded in convicting hundreds of accused terrorists, whereas the military commission system has brought about only a couple of convictions of only a couple very low-level protagonists, so to me one of the sad things in terms of bringing to justice ten years later is what everybody agrees was -- well, maybe not everybody agrees, but the consensus that torture is, was, and will continue to be illegal,
unconstitutional, and mall, and violative of domestic and international law. not a single torture victim has had his or her day in court in the united states, and not a single self-proclaimed perpetrator were accused perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks has been brought to justice. i think each of those is equally of the trail of safety and freedom and justice. >> with that, i see our hour has come so close. i think it illustrates in this discussion how complex in many ways these issues are and how in some ways unique because of the nature of these attacks we have never faced up to these kinds of issues before, particularly when as the panelists a pointed out, the attackers are trying to make a battlefield of of our home grounds in the united states. so we can thank both of our
panelists for breen these issues to our attention and please join me. [applause] [applause] thank you for being with us. >> you are watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span2 book tv. up next, brooke hauser documents a year at international high school where 28 languages are spoken and none of the student body are native english speakers she reports on the societal obstacles the students face and the different journey's it took to arrive here in the united states. >> okay. good evening. my name is susanne konig. i am the director, and welcome. we are extremely excited to have
the book once party, "the new kids." we will have -- can and will be reading from a book, and then will be in conversation. we will have a short q&a afterwards. briefly interviewed. brooke hauser has written for the new york times, los angeles times, the premiere, among other publications. originally from miami, florida and now lives in new york. worked as a columnist and editor at the new york times for the past 17 years and is currently the deputy editor of the home section been rewritten for harper's atlantic commonwealth and the progressives. teaching at the new york university. we will, just good housekeeping, please turn of your cell phone
spivvy do have probably seen, at c-span book tv. we will be passing around the microphones, if you could wait for the microphone to reach you and then ask a question. thank you so much. now please welcome brooke hauser [applause] [applause] >> so, suzanne so we are here to discuss brooks' new book. it is about, just to give a capsule summary, i school in brooklyn called the international high-school, which specializes in the education of immigrant teens. brooks spent much time at the school chronicling a year in its life and a life of its the use. i wanted to -- brooklyn to a reading of the apportionment
later, but of want to ask a few introductory questions. the first of which is, your experienced journalist. you have written a lot about hollywood and the bell fell. this is the subject matter that is far afield from that. how did you come to this topic? >> actually, the present limit to the international school is in the audience. we went to college together. he was working at the international rescue committee, which is an agency that helps to resettle refugees across the country. at the time my girl friend was interested in doing some volunteer work with some of the students of the brides and to nationalize the oil. i heard about this school, and i became very interested in this idea of a high-school where kids come from some many different countries and speaks of many different languages and are all, you know -- i don't want to sit there are all trying to become american because not all the kids are, but there are adopting
to the country was going to high-school. then i found out that there is an international school in my backyard, which was the international high-school prospect heights, and that is so i ended up at school. i could walk there from my apartment. >> for me at least, for this reader the standout feature of this book is its factual richness, to me it is an example of really good emerging reporting mike barbara, aaron, major and. you can tell every wed that the depth of detail, how much time was spent collecting into doing, recording, thinking. and so i naturally wondered how much time is spent, how many days you went to school, how many students interviewed. how did you decide will was enough. >> right.
i don't know how my decidable was enough. i think that my guts to such a bow was enough because it was basically giving in. and i spend a lot of time at the school. i was there for an article that i rode. frank was an editor at. ♪ of the new york times, and the road and article above the internationalize ." and so that was the first amount of time that i spent there. then i went back for the buck and spend a year reporting. and the following year was still in touch with the kids in the following year i was still in touch with kids and reporting tools. basically it went to the printer. so it was a lot of time, a lot of notes, and my life was on hold basically angeles finished. >> the international ice bowl, something like 28 languages were spoken in the year your report on. that most of ben their reporting challenge for you. >> this puts out a deal with
that? >> i took a lot of aspirin because i think it teaches can relate. it's really, really loud at the school. now, its lead in the haskell, but when you're 20 languages a once in the halls is just, it's amazing. so the kids are a huge subsidy because several of the students to the road about were already very, very proficient in english and, of course, their native language and some spoke several. there were transmitted to me. so any time i ran into a transition problem i didn't have to hire a formal chance that there. i just as the kid. >> how many students are there? >> around 400. the school had been in existence first four years. al was there the fifth year. so the class, the student body kept growing, but now i think it was the biggest class ever that
was just except this year. something around 400 students now. >> out among all those students did you choose the ones that you would talk to an interview and then write about in your book? >> i have a question that last all the teachers at the beginning of the year which was when you go home and night whoe'er distance you can stop thinking about? and really the teaches let me define the students. one growth from china had written a college as a bunch coming to america. her very first week she was supposed to move another fatherless she hadn't seen in years. when she got their honor for a stay her new stepmother basically didn't want her there and kick drought. she was -- when i met her she was living on her own in a room she rented and chinatown. for winning this teacher that
was the students she couldn't stop thinking about was to a common night, and every other student i basically found a way except for a burmese road i found because the wanted to observe an instance. i really just ran into her on the first a school and found it very interesting this year was the only person in the whole school who spoke for language, no one else did. i thus to be an interesting person to follow. >> right. i know many of your students, like the chinese could you mentioned, have a very dramatic passages in from their native country to america. of believe they have been at the subject. >> right. so i'm going sarah read. so many of the kids have amazing stories. the what i wanted to read is about a tibetan boy who left tibet as a lowboy, escaped by hiding in the suitcase to travel to the border of nepal.
so he and i worked pretty hard on this story to get all the facts straight. >> this is going to hold it. >> okay. did him, the man said mushing in a small suitcase on the ground. it was the fall of 2003, but two years before he would arrive in international. there were standing on a quiet side street. he looked at the man and back to the suitcase. the man was his father's friend, a farmer with a wife. a face fell with worry. the suitcase looked very fancy. black nylon with the plastic handle bar, reels and metallic zipper. he never does this a case before, and he inspected a closely. there was chinese lettering on it that he could not read. the main compartment was only about two by 3 feet, the size of
a child. small for 11, but he wasn't out small. the black suitcase with sandy one of many banks stacked in the backseat of a bead of silver toyota that was supposed to deliver him to the border of nepal, the first leg of a journey that would end in india. in the tea colored light he could make goddess he tired faces. zero tibetans who had paid to drive out before the capitol city stressed out of its lumber. he was about to join the others when the farmer motion began to of the suitcase. international high school, he said, and tipping the top. he stared blankly at the man in the suitcase. hurry the farmer said before the police come and take us to jail. how long? one night and one day. now was how long it would take to travel from the capitol to the border, assuming they did get caught. the actual distance was much
shorter, but the driver would be circumventing several signees sec wants along the way. they didn't have much time, except for the growing operation at the palace rising from the valley, still dark. but send a somewhat prius, shining a spotlight on anyone who dared to sleep. the gunmen, a madison himself back in his grandma's bed where he ends up with his oldest brother and delicatessen, only a few weeks before. inside the suitcase sequences knees to his chest and rocks to the side. for a brief moment he saw the farmers face, like a field under a passing cloud. then there was as a big sound, and everything black. nine hours into the journey he vomited. the bitterness singeing his throat and planning to the fibers of the camouflage pants. thirteen hours and to my gush of
warm liquid pressing down his leg cooling. and the upside down dark his tears flowed in and started directions. when the suitcase first close he felt scared the strong. he still wore the white silk scarf his grandmother had placed around his neck as a parting gift. pressing his hands between his knees he whispered a buddhist prayer. those are last words he spoke. he was afraid to make a sound. then the village yet heard tales about tibetans who were caught mid passes by chinese police. friends told him about presidency had been beaten with clubs, a shot at, and subjected to strains torture techniques like one caught digging in bamboo sticks. he imagined police hammering the sharpened rocks under the victim's fingernails. even if he wanted to scream no one would hear him. he couldn't hear anyone either. within seconds of the zipper is zipping he lost control of his senses.
he couldn't see, but he smelled the gasoline leaking from the car engine. half of his body when cold, the half that was closest to the icy ground. he tried moving his arm and leg of his other side, but found that he was trapped. something had fallen on him, but he was unsure what. it sounded like a dead body being thrown into a grave, but then he realized his bill was the sound of suitcases stacking. in the house and now, breeding have become such an impossible task that it was hard to believe it's ever been automatic. the more he thought about it the more he panicked, gasping for air and swallowing dust. his right arm ached from pressing up against the wicked the other six cases that were piled on top of his own. his left arm was frozen against the cold car floor. he felt everybody in every rock, road. he heard the engine sputtered to of all that what must have been the police checkpoint. he clenched his best and toes started again, the engine started again the tendering in his ear.
@booktv the world beyond his own violence. chinese soldiers who crowded the streets. there would be far behind. sometimes the stocks drifted to his grandmother. his own mother had died three days after he was born. the one his suckle them with the glass bottle filled with milk. when the village women were unable to breast feed. the day he left the village in eastern tibet, secret to meal of dumplings and yet but it's the. he and his brother not to their horses and headed west. the blackness of the suitcase, he could see her standing in the tall grass waving goodbye. since the dalai lama fled in 1959 tens of thousands of tibetans of follow this path to india. he knew the stories. he had heard about the men and women across the himalayas. many dying of starvation are
getting trapped in the eyes tearing along check. for years his father had planned is on this gate, and he was the first of his family to flee, arriving in america in 2003. a few months later he sent for his two sons. from there they would ride on horse where they would board a bus to the county. there would give on attractive for the capital. after giving their bearings there were supposed to join up with a paid guide to make the trek across the mountains to the border of nepal. if they made it the far an appalling and would treat them. for 2500 yen per boy he would pose as the grandfather and he would be waiting with the piece of coal and the car. the car was supposed to transport the brothers to a tibetan refugee center. they call was for them to paint
their faces a darker so they would look more like children. tibetans children are known for their unusually red cheeks, the extra blood flow resulting from the high altitude and low oxygen of the plots of. but so red as the chinese sometimes called it. the first part of their journey had gone as planned, but a crucial part of the plan changed. one evening to the farmer said he had gone to see an oracle earlier that state. never met one, but he knew that oracles were wise men who travel between the physical and divine world and could see into the future. the former pastor of the oracles message. two years older and much bigger, walks through the mounds with a paid guide, it took it to spend thousands of miles and several weeks. too small, he simply would survive. the orioles said is better to come with me in the car. his father used to talk about
how tiny was when he was born. he fit into the outstretched palms, not much larger than one of the potatoes but from the field. despite its small size, in their village had given him a big name loosely translated demand voice of power, never stuck. several thousand miles west of worry was born his english teacher said said a glass top table initiative for backyard and reads the paragraph before. the suitcase closed and i went blind. my body was squeezing in the many suitcases, and i can barely breathe. after hours and hours squeezing into suitcases fl the press. i just wanted to escape, but many suitcases were stacked on me. i was sweating and wanted to scream, but i knew that it would
be worse. they could go after my sick grandma and heard her because she was sending me to freedom. i could it be upper killed. danielle would never get to see my single dad. i would never achieve what my mom hope and my grandmother soaps so i made my hands. it is 7:00 a.m., and be whatever semblance in the clouds the cursor on a blank page. the cereal is getting saudi commander coffee is already lukewarm. in between steps from her favorite mode sisters of the purple morning glories creeping up her chain-link fence and back at the college as a. a suitcase, he is lucky to have survived. suggest a imagine an 11 year-old boy ball club in the darkness, his fists clenched. surely he understands things this she doesn't about life or does the? is ending his brief. he is in the suitcase and in
india. him when nevertheless will really happens next. met the mayor of the border, disguised himself, swiss guards, and headed to katmandu. his brother was not so fortunate on his first attempt to make it to the border. but checking to the himalayas he was arrested and jailed by chinese police. the voice later reunited. in 2005 which joined the father in the united states where there were granted political asylum. clearly his story is too complex to squeeze it all into a prepaid college s.a., but there is no final message, no deeper sense of understanding. in the minutes before she heads a school in wonders about the father who also fled, the mother died, and the grandmother and she might never see again. she wonders about his daily life in eastern tibet where he worked on his family's farm. was he still the same boy when
he emerges from the suit is 24 hours later? he never says. the editor, but in the mostly limited narrator who has not begun to unpacked the events of the past few years. then she remembers, only 17. easy to forget sometimes that by the time they walk into room 327 on the first day of senior year many students had already survived more trauma and hardship that she could imagine. that hasn't necessarily made them wiser, and she does not see her kids as victims. when and looked she does not see the boy in the suitcase, but the party kid in a black t-shirt inscribed with the yellow smiley face and the message ia you. she sees a teenager who has started turning in assignments late and would rather read in new york post and comment on how maile cyrus looks bad then pay attention in class. could seriously fall behind in college if she does not make an
attitude adjustment quick. a boy who is much more than a myth and much less. [applause] [applause] >> it is those details like plateau red and the part morning glories that other kinds of a emersion reporting net you can see in that passage. well. what a story. in a suitcase over the mountains , over national borders wedding for the police. what size school here in america and a fairly normal high-school compared to that. how was the big picture of the high-school there with children who like him so traumatized by
events in the past? >> how was -- >> how was international high-school comparing to the sort of standard stereotypes high-school that we would think of here? >> well, that is why i was so drawn to the school. because even though the kids do have really -- some of them, really amazing stories of how they got here and perilous journeys and different backgrounds, they wrestle teenager's, and i could relate to them very easily because i think we can all relate to going to high-school in america, and even though it's an international high-school, it's not that different. definitely a little different but it has to deal with sats and prom and where to sit in the cafeteria and always on facebook. so i think big picture and not so different all.
there backgrounds of liard difference. >> were there. >> like we would be accustomed to, talks and girls? that's sort of thing? >> i was looking always for the. i spent a lot of time in the cafeteria. i was looking for the meet girls and the jocks and all of these groups that make for good gossip and fun. i don't really think i ever found mean gross. maybe a couple, but not like the movie. a click of a juror saw many of together. there were groups of would not have expected. definitely jocks. some of the dominican boys. maybe there would be considered jock's. but then there was a group that i never had an high-school, which was a group of boys to all logitech grow up and become professional hair designers. i'm still not sure what that is.
but they had amazing air. really. and then there was the table that was not all nomadic jack curtis, but several mimetic decker's. and farmers. previous another anymore. >> so did the students sort of gather by epiphany? was there a lot of mixing the different at the cities? obviously the cultural issues are vastly different, but. >> i would say in the cafeteria if the workplace they did divide according to ethnicity. i mean, i think that the school wants to see the kids makes and they do mixing glasses, but given to their own devices during free time and lives i think it's natural, especially if you're learning english all that long, i think it's natural to the go toward francis p.
keeling would so you can just relax a little bit and feel very comfortable speaking in your native language. these are definitely. >> of kids from africa, west africa, kids from mexico and guatemala who could speak spanish together. but then there were a few kids to or more like nomads in the metaphorical sense. you know, they wandered around a cafeteria and talk to anybody and i know with anybody. >> right. did you find that -- i mean, obviously the story of the suitcase and other stories and your dealing with teenagers who are changing every day. languages sees the you had become a part of adolescence in teenagers is kind of imbalance in the truth. as a journalist of the issue of verification, did you face obstacles, trouble stories about that? >> definitely a lot of worries. and i have had a section in the back of the book where i said
basically, you know, i did the best of my ability to report things as accurately as possible, but of human memory is what. in my case i was talking to teenagers who were recalling events in their childhood. they have been the long time ago, another country, and they're not telling me these stories and in the country speaking in the language, english. so i think that, you know, probably zero, was lost in transit and in translation. so i wanted to explain that, you know, this is pretty close. >> right. >> you know, with the story, for instance, you know, i think he had told is so many times that a lot of details were either lost or just -- i think that when i sat down with them to get the story a lot of stuff came out because i wasn't just talking.
went to his house, and he lived with a bus of tibetan-lawyers, including his father who had a girlfriend. we had dinner, and i had yak butter tea, but with not the yak butter. that was intense. but it's see if you ever had it. it's like butter. so over but it's the basically five or six men were trying to help flesh out not just this, but the story. how they left to bet. there were speaking in tibetan. he had to translate like six people talking at the same time. that was a little confusing, and people started drawing maps. the maps are great, but then i realized all the labels, and if you look at it those village names were written in chinese. >> right. >> it was difficult.
>> right. so fear of the apostles analysts and. >> went over a million times. that was one time that i heard the story, and then i heard the stories and more times. asses father about it again. met with some three more times to just go over everything. >> right. the issue of emigration is obviously a huge and perennial political issue. teen-agers. how did you -- you so wonderful stories and the buck. how did you decide -- how much did you develop, how much space to the bigger social political context and, steven l. and added to decide how much the should be? >> i didn't devote a lot of time to political is used. i devoted a couple, maybe a chapter two. one because unlike the newspaper article, you know, it comes out that day of talks but the issue of the day, a book comes out,
and a lot of the issues aren't relevant any more, depending on legislation that has been passed to my editor was very helpful and reminding me of that. then then when i did did and some more of a political discussion it grew naturally out of the scene that happened in the book. so there's a chapter called illegal with this scene takes place at the school one night. they hosted a pta meeting unlike any other pta meeting you've ever heard of. it wasn't like bake sale and took the talk. it was -- the subject was legalization of citizenship. parents were invited to ask any question that they had in that area. you know, they get an introduction in english and spanish and there were other tests that is there who were able to translate the conversation in many different
languages. and to immigration lawyers came in, and one of them handed out a packet of cartoon drawings for the parents who didn't speak english. it was called what to do in the event of an immigration raid. and -- >> bake sale. >> said this showed graphic novel drawings of ice agents with dark haired and jaws shackling immigrants in their own homes. carting them away to detention centers. you saw this story in every frame, and another friend you saw what happened to the cartoon lives. cartoon to is jumping off the seat. it was really intense. so it definitely is seen. part of the story grew out of that chapter. >> sure. that fit into your narrative in durable to not.
>> and then the dream meant to touch a little bit about which is the piece of legislation that was passed finally that would to put it very basically create a conditional pass citizenship for a certain undocumented since he came here before the age of 16. it would allow them to get better financial aid. so that was natural because the kids, 15 percent of the senior class was undocumented, which is a huge number. there were all applying to colleges, like all the other kids. there were just as hard, did just as much studying, fit into tests. then at the end of senior year there were basically in a very difficult position. college is expensive. if you don't give federal financial later scholarship and it's not like it is going to get to go. >> have you followed the fortunes of those students? >> stabbed stay in touch with
certain students more than others, but then i'm on facebook with half of the high-school. kind of did when this thing spirited and people end up all over the place. a lot of the kids in up really well and lots of different ways in areas. >> right. many of the students, i'm sure not all, but many of them seem so enduring, and the stories so dramatic that i wonder if it was hard to maintain, you know, a journalistic distance. >> yes. >> it was. how did you deal with that? did you just keep struggling? >> it was a struggle. i really let the kids and the teachers. at times a kind of just once to be friends with everybody, but i couldn't because i was writing about them, and have always in the past been very careful not to get too close to the subject, but i think it's different when you're writing about kids because i don't know, it feels a little different. you're more interested, i think, in the lives of kids if you're
writing about them. >> short. >> i had definite boundaries, but, you know, if someone needed help with the colleges say i would not write it. maybe have a few notes of the margin are something. i would allow myself to do stuff like that. but i was invited to parties and dinners. you know, i could never fully relax. i could never really drink as much as i wanted to. it was just, you know, i wanted them to be friends among but i could let them be friends at that point. since then i think have developed friendships of people who met in school, but i had to be done with the book first. >> i know the some of the students are from cultures that involved a arrange marriages in that sort of thing. did any of them asked your advice about those questions and how did you -- >> they didn't ask my advice. no. a few of the girls were really
interested in when i was going to get married. we definitely talked about marriage, and my husband and i were married, but we have been together for, i don't know, nine engineers. one of the girls he did get married during her senior year and another grow from china said it would come over one day and asked my husband, mike was from when he was going to propose very interested. they did it all their teachers, it wasn't just me. asking enlistees is one that would have babies. they got started earlier than we did. so we definitely shared some funny conversations. >> so were you accepted by the students? were you able -- did anyone resent you? was the suspicion? >> i'm sure there was suspense in the captive of suspicion, and may not have heard about all that. definitely a few cool boys to --
>> that is an answer. >> once iowa with the students to of pharmacy to run some errands i think he was buying cigarettes is something, and the clerk at the store said, oh, i see you brought your mom with the. and then, yeah, i did except me. a couple of the cool boys would say, oh, don't talk to that lady. she has a notebook in his writing down everything you say. certain people. i think most of the kids were pretty good to talk about the stories. >> right. >> okay. >> the hardest thing about writing for me at least is leaving stuff out because you can't just go on and on. so you did so much reporting. i'm sure that this book is a small percentage of what you learned. so what was the most painful thing for you to leave out?
>> i had been a teacher who was in charge of the newspaper club that year. i really love to spending time with the kids in this paper clubs because i was a newspaper clubs. that's one of those things i could relate to. you know, they have a lot of fun with it. their roots and interesting articles that would only, i think, come out of english language lenders who were writing, you know, a paper for other indocin with lenders. there were a spending a lot of things that american has cool kids would not have to explain. so when you're a kid did a primer. what is hip-hop, and despite the have panda of. another kid did a primer on pakistan the fashion, explaining. another girl wrote of whole -- of hughes environmentalist. she wrote a whole article about global warming.
so i thought there was great stuff here, but i just -- it was cutting into some of the story. it was too much seen and not enough story. >> right. the school is the center of this and is writing, but you do take some trips outside the school to a town in connecticut, farmington, where one student with. the chinese girls apartment. did you make more difficult to keep the school as a center? >> the boy who lived in farmington came here from sierra leone in a roundabout way. came here from sierra leone, basically on not a scholarship but won the contest that bought him a ticket to live with a christian family in connecticut, even though he was muslim.
he put his differences aside and lived in farmington, conn., which is a very wealthy town. he was coming from the porous place in sierra leone which is kind of a muslim boy who was suddenly on sunday. that was fascinating and i get so wrapped up in history. that is the kid who is very charming, i liked him very much. dino, i think that i got a lull allow for history, put some much of it in the book. my editor in new. i think the publisher read history and realized it was picking over the entire book. still a lot of history in there, but i had to try to get it down. >> i guess there are alternative ways to tell the story. maybe you could tell the story, did you ever think about telling the whole story through one person? >> this whole story? >> the story, the story of this book. >> you know, like not several
kids come up with just one. >> to that ever occurred the? >> i think a few of the kids are in the book could have their own boat, definitely but to me what was interesting was just this clash of cultures that they're all under the same together. so i always wanted to follow a few of the kids. i love -- you know, one of my their relationships in the book is the chinese girl who became good friends with the yemeni girl, and they shared a diary together. i didn't even have to tell the story because there were telling each other their story in this diary. so i liked that each student brought out something in another student who was very different, but not that different. >> right. of course the students are the stars, but you also spoke with parents. was that a difficult thing? presumably languages even more difficult for many of them. >> the kids helped me translate. it was difficult talking to jessica's father because he is the one who let his new wife
kicker out of their apartment, her first week in america, and so i think he felt very guilty, but at the same time he had his gunsights as stories that he really wanted to spare, and he is not a bad man. he is a complex character, so it was difficult talking to him. and sometimes jessica would be listening to our conversation, and he would say things to me about her that he would never tell the directly. she's my daughter, i love her. in up, and i think that she would say that sarah, but the kind of would ease up on our conversations. >> i see. right. paternalism is all about not having preconceptions and then try to find evidence. did you have any suspicions of our preconceptions, shall we say, before you went in the town exploded as you work board with
the story? >> there were something, and then i struggled with some other things. have you girls from west africa who had gotten married and to have babies during high school. you hear about teen moms. it's taboo. its, you know, i think we all have ideas about what a teen mom is, but these girls are different. >> right. >> i think that for some of the gross -- i mean, they clearly meant to get married. you don't get married on the state. the babies came after the marriage, and one of the gross was a top student and her great, very smart, very successful in school. and so it was difficult for me. i was happy this is doing so well, but how does she do that? >> right. >> and you know, and her culture maybe this is normal. it wasn't so stigmatizing. you know, i don't know. very capable of.
>> do you think they you will continue reporting and writing about this subject? whether it's teens are immigrants? >> i hope so. very interested. i mean, i have always been interested in immigration. i test myself families genealogy. i'm very interested. i really like kids. it's a natural intersection. >> right. >> but we will see. >> great. so i think some questions from the audience. in the audience members to have a question? the writing of it or the contents of it? >> the novel. >> what do you think the experience of writing this book has done for you?
>> that's a hard question. i just, i think that writing a book is really hard. i was always looking for that, how the other people do this. i realize that along the way while was riding highs of the woody allen movie whenever works. that kind of became a model. i guess what i learned is that you just have to keep at it until it works. i don't really have a great answer to that. it's just, you know, you just find a way and make a lot of mistakes. there are a lot of tragedy after throughout zero other scenes in cut things. it's difficult, and i think what i realize is that writing is difficult, some not to beat myself up about it. i told the kids the same thing because i think that a lot of the kids find treading very difficult, an analyst tell them that's good. you should find it difficult
because it is. >> of this? other questions? >> sure. whatever happened? >> he was at syracuse university. he got a bunch of wants to go there, and these generally well. the, you know, he is studying international relations. he wanted to be enacted during a school, so he getting accepted into this academy. the current principal tickets set shots, which for really handsome. i think he got some additions with them. he dreamt of being an actor, but now i think he is very political. he was mr. free tibet at the high-school, and i'm sure that he is boeing said, you know, still be very active with tibetan causes, and sure he is touring and syracuse.
jessica is also doing really well. see is that drexel. the business and engineering program. i think she is still with her high-school boyfriend. no. [laughter] sorry. whoops. gossip. the seas during great, and see just as mr. reich -- to be a reference for her for a job interview, so that's the kind of thing -- did not, that's the kind of thing i definitely want to do more of. i can do little things like that. it's easy for me and fun for me. she's doing really well.
>> hello. behind a pole. my question is actually about education in general right now because very intriguing political times, and education gets a lot of attention in the press, both negative and positive, and i wanted to ask you what you thought about how your work will begin soon leave an impression and what your impression was after spending time in the school about the successes that new york city's can have potentially? >> happy breed of view of the reviews of the book have said that this is an uplifting book about education and a time when there is a lot of bad news. that makes me happy because i think that the school does a great job. i love the school. i gave the commencement speech for graduation, and i told the kids that the school is one of my favorite places on earth, which is really true. i'm not an education reporter, so i can really speak generally
about my news on education with a lot of expertise. bud i know now what about the english language learners and programs for in the selling insiders. i went to high school in miami where there are lots of dissing which lenders, and they were, you know, kind of segregated within i same school, which i think is kind of weird sometimes because, you know, i think those kids sometimes give left out. it really depends on the school, but in this school all the kids were learning english together, all mixed together, and i felt that that approach really worked because it gives a very understanding of each other. one thing you notice is that in most middle schools case just tormented other. at this school there really helped. i mean, i couldn't believe it sometimes. they seemed much -- hi don l. they seemed too good to be to some times.
there really to help each other out. older kids will to the younger kids, and they seem invested in each other's success. i thought that the international models seemed to work. >> okay. hi. actually, i donated a couple of addresses size schools. as santa nino to my office, so you can imagine what a funny reaction i got here. this guy is testing. i actually mentor for an organization called new york needs you. demint to ship program for third-generation college students, all of which are international. i have been privy to a lot of conversations they have in terms of the opportunities of this country allows. no matter where you come from, the next to work hard, you will
get it. were you privy to such conversations? between different kids? >> repeat the question. >> staff. your perception about what opportunities there were afforded. >> the kids, the international network for public schools, the organization that oversees all of these internationalize schools and a model for the network is opening doors to the american dream. the kids took this mall so literally i cannot even tell you. it was amazing in inspiring, and i met, you know, the first year that i was there there was a chinese boy. you know, there were kids who wanted to be doctors among lawyers, engineers. there was a chinese boy who was unwavering in his dream to be the next-to-last dog was per. and he really went after it. i mean, you know, like in trend with the dog groomer. he loves stocks. this is what he wanted to do.
then the year was reported to the book there was a boy from africa who wanted to be a zoologist and an actor both at the same time. and actually, you know, i don't know what's happening with the zoology, but he's going to the university of vermont now. he won the seinfeld scholarship. you get a full free ride to college, and he met jerry seinfeld at tavern on the green and told jerry seinfeld, be the next jerry seinfeld. [laughter] i mean, they're really believe that they can do anything. a lot of the kids do, and it's amazing. they do. they go on to do great things. that your five kids get the seinfeld scholarship. they all got free rides. i think people response to that kind of optimism and hope that they see in the students, and people like the students. i really like the students.
i don't know if i like all high-school students, but i definitely like a lot of the once lamented the international school. >> zillow. >> i have two questions. first, i wondered if you face -- it seems like the students and teachers were very forthcoming more less. did you face some bureaucracy within the school administration? and then just getting back to the riding question that was first, when you were during the process of wondered if he took refuge in or inspiration from other offers in the book? >> so school was very open with me. i think writing a particle help because it was a very positive article. the founding principle of the school really let me spend a lot of time at the high-school. then the new principal at the school also let me spend a lot of time at the high-school. so i think there was a certain amount of just there that have
happened with the palm article. so there were great. and then the books the red, red among schoolchildren which is i forget what grace she teaches them a third grader fifth grade, but a teacher who teaches in wholly of massachusetts. and then i read small victories. he also followed a teacher, high-school teacher in the lower east side he teaches a lot of immigrants, but not at a special luncheon national high-school. so i read both of those, of what they really focused on the teachers, and i wanted to focus on the kids. and then frank mentioned. i love ran and family. this is very different from ran the family. a lot of fiction.
>> particularly among kids from different ethnic groups. was it ever a big problem the other families? >> the high-school. >> romance and high-school. the kids have to hide their relationships? at kendis thing. between tibetans and chinese children? india and pakistan the. >> i don't even know if there were any indian kids. a lot of kids from bangladesh and a lot of kids from pakistan. some still is. the across-the-board, but in the book i read about one in says that happened where a tibetan, you know, not the president, but organized a lot of the students for meetings of the high-school. he made a fire and handed it out he